Jakrapob interviewed

24 11 2013

Andrew Spooner has interviewed red shirt leader and former Thaksin Shinawatra spokesman Jakrapob Penkair. Once accused of lese majeste, Jakrapob has apparently remained in self-exile in Cambodia since 2009. He remains supportive of Thaksin and Thaksin’s on-going role in Thailand’s politics.

On the ill-conceived amnesty, Jakrapob appears to defend it, arguing that the timing was wrong:Jakrapob

It was initiated out of a good intention to give the whole country a place to re-start. But the mannerism of the process and the bluntness prove to us that a good idea can turn awful. The idea itself was not a mistake. But its timing couldn’t be more troublesome.

In another report at Foreign Policy (requiring registration to read), he denies the rumors of a Thaksin-military-elite deal on amnesty:

Mutterings of a back-room deal between Thaksin, the military, and even the “network monarchy” (the royals and their associated offices including the Privy Council) provide a plausible explanation as to why Thaksin felt confident enough to push the amnesty bill so hard from exile through his supporters. But we don’t know what’s happening behind the scenes, says Duncan McCargo, author of The Thaksinization of Thailand…. “The amnesty issue relates to what the state of play is over a deal between the two sides,” he says. “It’s not simply about what Thaksin is doing.”…

… But those close to the billionaire tycoon in recent years — including exiled UDD founding member Jakrapob Penkair — remain adamant that he was not party to any discussions with the military, opposition or any other senior establishment figure in the lead up to the amnesty bill…. “There’s no such deal. But I admit that there might be some deal among those in high places in Thailand that our side is not involved in,” says Jarapob, alluding to a deal among other power factions.

On the possibility of real democracy in Thailand:

Dark forces of Thailand are pretty well packaged as benevolent and hard to see. But they are there to obstruct all kinds of attempt to give people an edge, especially for those brutally killed by their forces and/or the network.

His comment on lese majeste is linked to this, suggesting that people will see the light when they realise that the “dark forces”/palace network are at work to protect themselves and their interests.


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